Why Windows Developor Day & Creators Update gives me a wee bit of hope

It’s been a while since I have posted anything. Busy with work, family life, snow removal and the like. However, the Windows Developer Day event has spurred me to life a little and I’m feeling, for the time being anyway, positive about UWP and Windows 10. Here’s a few reasons why:

Adobe XD (and others)

It’s not Adobe XD per se that is exciting, but more that Adobe is creating a full featured, UWP application. The perception that there are no full feature apps or that the store is full of toy apps has some truth to it thought there are exceptions. In part, this is fueled by versions of mature apps being added that are less feature rich. Of course, it takes time to develop an application and an often cited example is Office, which is a little harsh considering the Windows 32 codebase has had about 30 years of development and the UWP / Mobile version about 5. That said, users don’t care if it took 5 minutes of 50 years, they care if it has the features they need and doesn’t crash. As a user of office mobile, I can say I rarely see it crash, but just the other day I submitted feedback for a feature I needed to use but couldn’t find.

So a powerful, full featured apps from a publisher of the stature of Adobe is great news, as is the news that they will be converting various components of other apps to have UWP support. Also good news around apps using Centennial (Slack, Kodi, Evernote, Audible, Deezer, and more) and that Kodi is also going to do a full UWP, and come to the Xbox in future.

Open Features and bugs lists

Microsoft is increasingly developing in the open and this is demonstrated with the launch of the Windows Developer Platform website. Being able to see what might be coming, and what they are doing about problems and issues with the SDK is a nice step and will hopefully encourage folks when it comes to the direction and speed of development of the platform. The Creators Update changes are good, but what really excites me is the list of features under development or under consideration. Several of those under consideration have a linked UserVoice request, so if you see something you like the sound of, go and vote on it – it might sway  if and when that features is developed.

Store improvements

There are several improvements to the store that I am looking forward to, some because they might help bring in more developers (new pricing models for example), and others because I have felt the pain (doing minor updates for Shoppers Calculator over 6 languages took ages, I can’t think what it would take for large applications translated 20 or 40 or more languages.

UWP improvement

The improvements to the UWP platform are good. Nothing earth shattering, I think the biggest deal is probably around live tiles, but the shape recognition for windows ink, and progress bar in notifications are also nice. You might have something else that jumps out when you see the list, but certainly, it gives me a couple of ideas for apps I might be more willing to do now. As a bonus, the Telerik UI controls for UWP are now open source.

So no, this isn’t going to save windows 10 mobile, or flood the store for windows 10 desktop with new apps instantly. But it helps, the platform feels interesting, powerful and while we’ll have to wait and see, the list above gives me hope for at least UWP as a platform being a going concern for the foreseeable future, and a bit of excitement to get back in to writing some code.

Watch: Windows Developer Day Video
Read: Windows Developer Platform
Download: Windows 10 Preview SDK